On the Relations between Italian and Slovene Socialists in Venezia-Giulia

  • Elio Apih


Until the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, the activity of labour parties in Trieste was encumbered by then national question. Confederazione operaia (Worker's Confederation), the first legal socialist organization in Venezia-Giulia, was organized in three sections: the Italian, the Slovene and the German. The fundamental problem was cooperation between Slovene and Italian proletariat. The latter regarded the notion of a nation as a cultural value only, while Slovenec considered the national idea also a factor of social liberation. In spite of the difficulties in mutual relations due to the differences between non-qualified Slovenes and qualified Italians, as well as because of bureaucratization and sympathizing with the Irredentist movement of a part of the Italian leaders, cooperation did exist all the time. Pittoni and Tuma in particular made great efforts towards this end. Unfortunately, the leaders of the two sections of the Trieste proletariat never discussed the national idea and its role in the struggle for social liberation. As a result, the socialist movement in Venezia- Giulia experienced grave tests in the year 1918.